Last week, I read a post by Joanna Paterson at MidLife Journal on Facebook in which she distinguished writing with a capital “W “from writing. The phrase resonated with me and I found myself thinking of it, turning it over, and journaling about it.
“…writing doesn’t need to start with a capital W. There’s a role and a place for that kind of writing, of course there is, and I know many of us dream of getting our work ‘out there’, published, and read.
But there’s a whole lot of other writing that isn’t ever going to end up on someone’s bookshelf.” (Writing and Pathways of the Heart)
We all have our capital W writing – business communications, proposals, presentations, white papers, emails and more. It is the writing that is defined by the intended reader. We craft it with carefully chosen words and phrases with the knowledge that it will be read and in essence will be a reflection of our knowledge and talent.
While the capital W writing certainly has its place the professionalism of it can actually get in the way of the words.
Small w writing for me most often happens with a pen. It is “soul writing,” that comes from a place deep within where raw honesty supersedes style and content. My pen functions as a pipeline to my inner being where thoughts, ideas and feelings drain freely onto the page. In this haven of uncensored thought, the inner critic does not exist. There are no rules and thoughts are allowed to shove their way in uninvited even if the result is a page of seemingly fragmented nonsense.
If you have ever written a letter with no intention of sending it, or poured your heart out in a journal then you know the intensity and satisfaction of small w writing.
Some small w writing should remain private, a safe haven where you can work through the inner complexities without over analyzing the content of your message. Yet, I can’t help but wonder how much better we would communicate if we allowed at least a little of this into our public writing. Would we see posts and articles that were passionate and pure? Would we forgive less polished writing for writing that was heart felt and intense? Would we move past convention as we focus on communication?
I am convinced that writing from the soul always has a place whether is it done with a capital W or small w. How about you?